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Ayn Rand And The End Of Love

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On 1/27/2018 at 10:32 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Crossword puzzles and Easter eggs

The second thing I've noticed is that--based on what critics and teachers convey--this kind of art functions inside the minds of those who enjoy it like a mix between a crossword puzzle and Easter egg hunt. The teachers never use those metaphors, but in essence, crossword puzzles and Easter egg hunts are what they talk about.

The thrill is in connecting the dots (hidden meanings) between symbols and characters and events and items in descriptions so forth (the crossword puzzle), and discovering a possible meaning of an event or stylistic technique no one has noticed before (the Easter egg hunt). Or the granddaddy of all Easter eggs, come up with a new angle from which to filter the work (if you want to get snobbish, call it a new hermeneutic approach :) ). This, in fact, is one of the drives I perceive behind postmodernism intellectuals.

I've read a fair amount of Kafka, but not the story you referenced.  And maybe Manon Lescaut would have made for better reading if I didn't know ahead of time what was going to happen (I get the feeling you aren't familiar with the operas). 

I think what you describe (crosswords and Easter eggs) is certainly part of what keeps the more challenging writing engaging.  Particularly if/when it ties to the real world, otherwise it's just annoying.  Example: you learn a lot about the history of the 14th century by reading Eco's The Name of the Rose.  But above all it's a hell of a story, and the history lessons are perfectly integrated into it.  I could name some Science Fiction novels I've tried to get through that were set in (often well-furnished!) alternate worlds, and I tuned out well before finishing.  Foundation, Dune...I'll leave it there. 

I'm curious to see your reaction to an author I've discovered fairly recently, Tim Dorsey.  He's not a "literary" writer, his models are Elmore Leonard and John D. MacDonald, I'd say.  They're vigilante thrillers...sort of.  If only Robert Bidinotto could write vigilante thrillers like these.  He's really funny, there's even a bit of Pynchon in the mix (e.g. character naming).  Vigilante comedies might be a better genre label.  Crucially, he has genuine wordsmithing chops. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Dorsey

The reason I'm interested in your reaction is that he aims to be a local flavor, specifically Florida.   I'd like to know how well his work travels.  Your Easter eggs reference made think of him, he's always working in local trivia, history, geography, and so on.  Does it connect with someone from Illinois...by way of Brazil and wherever it was you had that American cracker childhood? 

I suggest you start with his first book, then move to the second, then the fifth.  There's a story arc that runs through these three.  The last (The Stingray Shuffle) is his best.  They're all available on Audible, and done really well. 

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Florida-Roadkill-Audiobook/B005CQ4H7Y?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4VWMG7TBDSZDY25XPKX7&

 

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On 1/25/2018 at 12:57 AM, Jonathan said:

They don't seem to be aware of it, but they're arguing that man's reason can never penetrate to the noumenon.

 Funny, but this isn't in the humor section. To recap on Kant, he basically believed that man's senses *get in the way* of perceiving reality - they partially block it, and so what we perceive can only be a sort of representation of reality. Like Plato's shadows. Where you go from (not) directly perceiving reality to directly perceiving others' reasoning and therefore, man's consciousness--or I take it, accurately judging them by their emotions -- is a shrewd twist on things, and false, of course. One can only "see" reasoning in others' words and in consequence, by their actions. You believe in mind-reading, is that it? Do emotions give you a mystical insight into people?

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On 1/25/2018 at 5:26 PM, Jonathan said:

Typical Tony word cloud.

Squirming, slithering Tony.

Here's Rand:

"Music conveys the same categories of emotions to listeners who hold widely divergent views of life. As a rule, men agree on whether a given piece of music is gay or sad or violent or solemn."

 

But, still, you're objections are a side issue. Your statements on this thread about emotions contradict Rand's position on music communicating emotions. That's why you're dodging the issue and making a big show about the side issue distraction.

 

 

It's confirmed what I've seen already, you don't have a clear distinction between art and reality. A re-creation of reality - and -  reality. The one is supposed to - designed to - evoke emotions. The other is what it is, and one's emotions are automatically derived from one's values which are derived (or not) from reason which is derived from reality. The dodging and "side issue" ("Rand's position on music") is yours.

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Of interest to me is why it is that people seemingly are reassured by emotionality, their own and others. The premise appears to be the hopeful wish for the bonding of humanity. Some hope, when emotions are all they have to do so. It is taken that an emotion is the most powerful outward manifestation of *something* deep about an individual. By this, goes the consensus, one can know the inner workings - good or evil - of other humans (much less, one's own inner workings - I now have less confidence in most people's introspective habits and abilities). As result, the emotion is supposedly the most honest display a person can make. The effort of thinking and thoughts that went into the values and so the final emotions, emotions which one (might) perceive in others, is hidden beneath the waterline: thought can't be directly known. So we take the most superficial aspect of an individual, saving the trouble of observing, thinking and learning about someone else's character, integrity, values and rationality. That smacks of intrinsicism: A revelatory, perfect and effortless 'knowledge' - about others, in this case.

The 'honesty" of emotions is plainly untrue, everyone knows he can exaggerate, falsify, repress, etc. his emotions - but the more that emotionalism holds sway as a primacy over the mind, the more will many people fake and force emotions to gain approval, sympathy, power (etc.). The downward spiral into dishonesty and untruth deepens when everything becomes only about a second-handed display of "something" virtuous for others' consumption. Mankind also has a propensity for only remembering the 'feel good' emotions, ignoring that hatred, and so on, are emotions too. For evidence, those virtuous-loving types of SJW's who exhibit intense hatred for "the haters" and can't see their contradiction.

 

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On 2/1/2018 at 6:02 PM, Jonathan said:

Are you drunk? Did you smash your head into something hard and get severe brain damage?

Seems to you. If it saves you admitting to your last nonsensical contributions, make that evasion.  

"[They] are arguing that man's reason cannot penetrate to the noumena." Tell me if I'm wrong, but you were reacting to Objectivists stating a consciousness cannot be directly known to another consciousness. I.E. Because O'ists reject wholesale the Kantian argument that real objects cannot be perceived as they are "in themselves" - thereby, they uphold: existence ->consciousness, directly - then, it has to be supposed O'ists are being 'Kantian' too, and contradicting themselves by not accepting consciousness-> consciousness, directly?

You must understand the distinction between existence and consciousness (?) And, between the "reason" a person articulates and is heard and known by others - and his "consciousness"?

A bit hard on the self-indulgent and emotional wishers, but as long as man has the identity "man", he and his mind will have an autonomous nature. To some, that is a large part of his glory. So, others' minds are unknowable - while individuals can and do somewhat make themselves visible by words and deeds. And their methods of reasoning/thinking *can* become more evident and their ethics and character are eventually fairly visible, but that's all you'll see into another's mind.

("To perceive the consciousness, the "I" of another, would mean to become that other "I" -- a contradiction in terms". AR)

As far as not knowing the difference between the man-made and the metaphysically given, we've gone here before, not that it ever made an impact on you. I'm realizing more, from 'docu-dramas',  (faked and semi-faked) 'reality' shows, media news, movies, how many people blur borders and equivocate. The more the 'real' and the 'made-up' get mixed together, the less grasp on reality people have. Moreso, in art. All simply because art or literature (and the news media, too) are the man-made, from someone's consciousness -- but based on, drawn from and derived from life and existence, which is the metaphysically-given, they confuse the two. Further, the good writers and artists (and cynical media) use specialized techniques to accentuate "their" reality, by making their work often seem "more real" or more graphic, than reality - so most readers and viewers (who don't know how art is made and that it emanated from the conscious mind, whose identity few even know of) come away with feelings of mystique, e.g., of it 'transcending reality and the mind'. Mystical-intrinsic notions which Kant ignorantly contributed to as well with his meanderings of the gifted insight the artist alone has with nature. Artists just volitionally learn to become that much more observant and aware than the average person, who is fairly dull to observations, and are technically proficient in their specific genre.

But maybe you get it now, that whatever the medium - music, etc. - an artwork is obviously an indirect "communication", mind to mind, so a superfluous addition here.

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And he's off to the races once again! Blabbering blubbery flibbertigibbetry. Imaginary foes and arguments. Straw men building straw men. Kookbuggery. DeRandment. Aynsanity.

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On 2/3/2018 at 7:29 PM, Jonathan said:

And he's off to the races once again! Blabbering blubbery flibbertigibbetry. Imaginary foes and arguments. Straw men building straw men. Kookbuggery. DeRandment. Aynsanity.

There're more things than you can dream of in your mechanist, reductionist mind - uh, brain.

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There was not going to be a reply to my 'suggestion', I guessed. :) Some time later and no one has reported examining their everyday emotions, and found ~ one ~ that was not connected, in some way, to his conscious (or subconsciously accepted) values, value judgments. If no objection, then I have to take that as an affirmative. It is tacitly agreed, Rand's theory is self-provably correct. Hooray. Clearly, what came first? Emotions are one's self-automated consequences to prior thought (identification, integrations, value-judgments). Your mind makes your emotions, in a nutshell, and your subconscious specifies ~which~ emotion, when. The emotions aren't inherent/intrinsic to an object/situation. They are self-programmed effects for your own rationally-selfish welfare, materialized through your physiology.

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

There was not going to be a reply to my 'suggestion', I guessed. :)

From whom were you guessing that there wouldn't be a reply? The imaginary people in your head? Why do you think that they're not replying? Why not just assign them a position to take, like you always do?

 

3 hours ago, anthony said:

Some time later and no one has reported examining their everyday emotions, and found ~ one ~ that was not connected, in some way, to his conscious (or subconsciously accepted) values, value judgments. If no objection, then I have to take that as an affirmative. It is tacitly agreed, Rand's theory is self-provably correct. Hooray. Clearly, what came first? Emotions are one's self-automated consequences to prior thought (identification, integrations, value-judgments). Your mind makes your emotions, in a nutshell, and your subconscious specifies ~which~ emotion, when. The emotions aren't inherent/intrinsic to an object/situation. They are self-programmed effects for your own rationally-selfish welfare, materialized through your physiology.

There ya go! Now, the next step is to just sit at home, disconnect from the internet, and argue with yourself (your imaginary foes). There's no need to do it here. We're not involved. Why do you need us to watch you argue with imaginary people?

 

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On 2/6/2018 at 8:03 PM, Jonathan said:

From whom were you guessing that there wouldn't be a reply? The imaginary people in your head? Why do you think that they're not replying? Why not just assign them a position to take, like you always do?

 

There ya go! Now, the next step is to just sit at home, disconnect from the internet, and argue with yourself (your imaginary foes). There's no need to do it here. We're not involved. Why do you need us to watch you argue with imaginary people?

 

A non-cogent reply, but a reply, and apart from that one, my guess is validated.

What do you believe yourself to be, anyway? my bird-dog?* my gatekeeper?

I well know the readership at OL, and of my many fruitless tries at starting a conversation or mannered controversy or who knows, accord. Usually, silence. All the revealing stuff is going on backstage, I suspect, starving some of us, me at least, of meaty content. 

*Go fetch, boy.

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On 2/6/2018 at 8:03 PM, Jonathan said:

 We're not involved. Why do you need us to watch you argue with imaginary people?

 

 

The topic of emotions is not nearly settled, and keeps cropping up.  Talking to imaginary people is a way of keeping my arguments impersonal, without launching into a scholarly discourse written by others better than I could. Unlike you, e.g. who seems to have a need to edge towards the personal, here I have always put the ideas above personalities. Is it your objective to block debate by 'personalizing' everything? 

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I don't block debate, but keep it on course. I don't fall for distractions, especially your constant plumes of squid ink.

I don't initiate making it personal. I don't start it, but I'm very happy to finish it.

You don't get a lot of responses from people because you're a snake and you're dumb. You're dishonest and evasive. You should be thankful that I'm more generous and patient than others in my willingness to take the time to cut through your bullshit and set you back on course. Count your blessings.

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2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

I don't block debate, but keep it on course. I don't fall for distractions, especially your constant plumes of squid ink.

I don't initiate making it personal. I don't start it, but I'm very happy to finish it.

You don't get a lot of responses from people because you're a snake and you're dumb. You're dishonest and evasive. You should be thankful that I'm more generous and patient than others in my willingness to take the time to cut through your bullshit and set you back on course. Count your blessings.

You are not well. From the snake and anti-intellectual concretist, himself. "On course" - used to be a debate about emotions discovered through introspection, making clear their irrefutable causation in values. This is what you've purposefully cut short, and I can guess why. The truth hurts and introspection hurts too, for some. But once again, a personal, hectoring attack from the big cheat and liar himself. In all your output is plainly such disingenuous sophistry as has never been heard, but yet you impugn my honesty which I know, and anyone who knows me, is above reproach - whoever agrees or not with what I write. I am aware of your longtime background attempts to compromise my character and isolate me, covertly behind the scenes. Being the intellectual coward , without others' backing you could not have the guts to publicly make yourself this insulting. And yet such low integrity and deviousness is tolerated. Who knows what you believe your mission is here, except to chase Objectivists like myself, off this forum. It is a subjective world you live in, and your (what!) - generosity and patience, is your fantasy. Thanks, but no thanks - take your generosity far away from me. You get not another word from me.

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I picked up Robert Bidinotto’s latest and then put it down since I had just read a Balducci book that also explored the vigilante idea. Too much killing, even if the bad guys are overly explained as deserving it, gets old, like that John Wick, Keanu Reeves movie. Maybe later.

 

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 9:56 AM, anthony said:

You are not well. From the snake and anti-intellectual concretist, himself. "On course" - used to be a debate about emotions discovered through introspection, making clear their irrefutable causation in values. This is what you've purposefully cut short, and I can guess why. The truth hurts and introspection hurts too, for some. But once again, a personal, hectoring attack from the big cheat and liar himself. In all your output is plainly such disingenuous sophistry as has never been heard, but yet you impugn my honesty which I know, and anyone who knows me, is above reproach - whoever agrees or not with what I write. I am aware of your longtime background attempts to compromise my character and isolate me, covertly behind the scenes. Being the intellectual coward , without others' backing you could not have the guts to publicly make yourself this insulting. And yet such low integrity and deviousness is tolerated. Who knows what you believe your mission is here, except to chase Objectivists like myself, off this forum. It is a subjective world you live in, and your (what!) - generosity and patience, is your fantasy. Thanks, but no thanks - take your generosity far away from me. You get not another word from me.

Honesty comes in different layers.

--Brant

you are honest--to yourself

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 9:56 AM, anthony said:

I am aware of your longtime background attempts to compromise my character and isolate me, covertly behind the scenes. 

WTF?

--Brant

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Michael wrote: I also read The Circle by Dave Eggers. This guy has no notion about human nature, at least not in this book. His characters bounced between pure cardboard and suddenly doing stuff out of character to meet or explain a plot point. The saving grace was his world of social media gone terribly wrong. That got Eggers a movie with Tom Hanks in it. end quote

I was listening to someone explain how to use a Fitbit device to monitor your movements, and share that info with other people. That is happening right now. So, I recommend you see the movie, “The Circle.” Imagine Emma Watson with no English accent. The movie is gripping.

Peter

“The Circle.” The Circle is a gripping modern thriller starring Emma Watson ("Harry Potter"), Tom Hanks ("Sully") and John Boyega ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens"). When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world's largest and most powerful tech & social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company's founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity. Rating: PG-13 (for a sexual situation, brief strong language and some thematic elements including drug use)

Senator Warns Fitbit Is A 'Privacy Nightmare' And Could Be 'Tracking' Your Movements by Hunter Walker Aug. 10, 2014, 2:20 PM 39,779

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) issued a statement Sunday calling for federal protections to guard consumers from a "privacy nightmare" that could be created by Fitbit and other wearable fitness trackers. Specifically, Schumer said he was worried companies behind Fitbit and similar products could sell data from these devices to third parties.

"Personal fitness bracelets and the data they collect on your health, sleep, and location, should be just that — personal. The fact that private health data — rich enough to identify the user's gait — is being gathered by applications like Fitbit and can then be sold to third-parties without the user's consent is a true privacy nightmare," Schumer said.

Schumer's press release announcing his concerns about FitBit declared, in all capital letters: "WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE, FITBIT BRACELETS & SMARTPHONE APPS ARE TRACKING USER'S MOVEMENTS AND HEALTH DATA THAT COULD BE SOLD TO THIRD PARTIES." In his statement, the senator called on the Federal Trade Commission to require companies to notify consumers if their fitness and location data could be sold to third parties — and to allow users to opt out of these deals.

"If companies of fitness devices have the ability to sell personal health data to insurers, employers and others, users should be alerted and given the opportunity to decline," Schumer said. "The FTC should require fitness devices and app companies to adopt new privacy measures that will help conceal the identity of individuals and develop policies to protect consumer information in the event of a security breach."

Schumer's press release noted the FTC "has openly voiced its concern about the selling of personal fitness data between companies, but has yet to take action to push application developers and other fitness monitoring companies to provide an opt-out opportunity." The press released also suggested that, without adequate protections, "users' health information obtained via these trackers could be sold to insurers, mortgage lenders, or employers."

Update (8:31 p.m.): A Fitbit spokesperson said the company did not sell data to third parties and that it would like to "work with" Schumer. "Fitbit does not sell user data. Our privacy policy prevents us from doing this. We are committed to our users' privacy and welcome the opportunity to work with Senator Schumer on this important issue," the spokesperson said.

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

“The Circle.” The Circle is a gripping modern thriller starring Emma Watson ("Harry Potter"), Tom Hanks ("Sully") and John Boyega ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens").

Peter,

I didn't see the movie but I am going to. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have a project with my step-son (who is on the autistic spectrum, but writes fiction). I'm trying to get him to read a book a week so we can discuss the different pros and cons from a writing perspective, then see the movie if one is available (Sean is high-functioning.). He started with Ender's Game. Right now he's doing Twilight. Since I read The Circle and he loves social media stuff (and girls his age :) ), I put it in the mix.

I sure hope Hollywood fixed the wooden characters. People complain that movies spoil the books they are based on, but I have found that movies save the books at least half the time or more (including Ender's Game, which was a glorified shooter-like video game in the book, including levels and all, with some plot twists). 

Apropos, I think the movie of The Circle tanked with both critics and public (see here).

Michael

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On 2/18/2018 at 5:40 AM, Brant Gaede said:

Honesty comes in different layers.

--Brant

you are honest--to yourself

I should think so! How are you or I going to be honest, if not first having self-honesty? This is establishing your own relationship to truthfulness and reality -- before anyone else to whom to be honest, enters the frame. And the reason honesty is a self-serving, rationally-selfish virtue, first and second. 

"Layers" I'm not convinced of. My view is there is a sharply-defined trilogy: honesty, dishonesty and withdrawn honesty. Honesty, in the normal course of events in associations with presumably worthy people, is full disclosure - nothing relevant should be held back, for as we know, deceit and sophistry often take the form of omission (of facts one knows but withholds), not just of commission. The closest thing to immorality to others, little less immoral imo to using force over them, is to deliberately feed false information, misleading the innocents and their thinking and choices with dishonesty. Lastly, when others show themselves to not be deserving of one's honesty, as with the guile of predatory people, it's right to withdraw it from them and tell them nothing further which can be used against you. One's objective values supply the crucial context for one's normally honest dealings, and shouldn't be sacrificed to a 'universalized' morality, as with Kant's imperative (have I seen any Jews, Herr Gestapo officer? I cannot tell a lie, there are some hiding in my cellar.) 

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Here is Hume, the arch-Empiricist, and skeptic of conceptual knowledge, whose "reason is properly a slave to the passions", contrived reason and emotion to be causally reversed (by eliminating the intermediary, value, as I see his methods). His morality too, is ultimately measured by feeling ("the sentiment of approval or disapproval"). It explains about where we are. "Reason...neither sets ends, not motivates action". Emotions, tools of special insight, apparently do.

From Hume and Morality, Stanford Encyc of Philosophy:

Fourth, Hume provides only a limited (though not unimportant) role to reason in ethics. The principal role that Hume gives to reason in ethics is one of helping agents see which actions and qualities are genuinely beneficial or efficacious. Hume denies that reason itself sets the standard of morality, or sets forth certain ends as morally to be promoted. Reason, according to Hume, is a faculty concerned with truth or falsehood, both demonstrably in the realm of relations of ideas and empirically in the realm of matters of fact. Reason makes inferences, but neither sets ends, nor motivates action. Our ends depend on what we desire, which depends on what we feel (with respect to pleasure and pain). “Reason, being cool and disengaged, is no motive to action, and directs only the impulse received from appetite or inclination, by showing us the means of attaining happiness or avoiding misery: Taste, as it gives pleasure or pain, and thereby constitutes happiness or misery, becomes a motive to action, and is the first spring or impulse to the desire and volition” (EPM App.1.21). Once feeling has established utility as one of the primary objects of morality, reason is essential to determine which character traits or modes and conduct conduce to it. This task is especially difficult with regard to questions of artificial virtues, such as justice, since so many people are involved, and since the social benefits of these virtues can be expected only from (possibly long-term) collective action (EPM App.1.2). Reason has other roles related to morality, too. For example, Hume notes that in order to make a moral judgment, one must have in mind all the relevant facts, and apprehend all the relevant relations of ideas. This takes reason. The moral judgment itself, however, is not possible without sentiment, which takes in all the deliverances of reason and emerges with something beyond them: the sentiment of approval or disapproval.

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Ha. Does anyone notice what is called people's "virtue signaling" in - "...emerges with something beyond them: the sentiment of approval and disapproval". Or, one's virtuous feeling of self-approval aligned with others' approval of one, no doubt? "Approved-emotion signaling" it should rightly be called.

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As for "Reason, being cool and disengaged [is no motive to action..."]

What kind of "reason" does Hume speak of which is not objective, conceptual, intensely important to one and very much "engaged"? (and with one's reasoned values, THE motive to action.)

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On 2/23/2018 at 5:13 PM, anthony said:

Here is Hume, the arch-Empiricist, and skeptic of conceptual knowledge, whose "reason is properly a slave to the passions", contrived reason and emotion to be causally reversed (by eliminating the intermediary, value, as I see his methods). His morality too, is ultimately measured by feeling ("the sentiment of approval or disapproval"). It explains about where we are. "Reason...neither sets ends, not motivates action". Emotions, tools of special insight, apparently do.

From Hume and Morality, Stanford Encyc of Philosophy:

Fourth, Hume provides only a limited (though not unimportant) role to reason in ethics. The principal role that Hume gives to reason in ethics is one of helping agents see which actions and qualities are genuinely beneficial or efficacious. Hume denies that reason itself sets the standard of morality, or sets forth certain ends as morally to be promoted. Reason, according to Hume, is a faculty concerned with truth or falsehood, both demonstrably in the realm of relations of ideas and empirically in the realm of matters of fact. Reason makes inferences, but neither sets ends, nor motivates action. Our ends depend on what we desire, which depends on what we feel (with respect to pleasure and pain). “Reason, being cool and disengaged, is no motive to action, and directs only the impulse received from appetite or inclination, by showing us the means of attaining happiness or avoiding misery: Taste, as it gives pleasure or pain, and thereby constitutes happiness or misery, becomes a motive to action, and is the first spring or impulse to the desire and volition” (EPM App.1.21). Once feeling has established utility as one of the primary objects of morality, reason is essential to determine which character traits or modes and conduct conduce to it. This task is especially difficult with regard to questions of artificial virtues, such as justice, since so many people are involved, and since the social benefits of these virtues can be expected only from (possibly long-term) collective action (EPM App.1.2). Reason has other roles related to morality, too. For example, Hume notes that in order to make a moral judgment, one must have in mind all the relevant facts, and apprehend all the relevant relations of ideas. This takes reason. The moral judgment itself, however, is not possible without sentiment, which takes in all the deliverances of reason and emerges with something beyond them: the sentiment of approval or disapproval.

6

"Once feeling has established utility as one of the primary objects of morality, reason is essential to determine which character traits or modes and conduct conduce to it." (re: D. Hume)

So "feel-good" is the base of morality, with reason only a practical means to that end. Hume has been noted/accused of "sentimentalism", and by putting the emotional cart before the reason horse, rightly so. Anyone who has ever chased good feelings in contradiction to and at the expense of his mind, objective values and life, knows that 'bad feelings' are inevitably the end result, and is therefore an irrational/ immoral pursuit. A likely genius, Hume seems incredibly ignorant about the workings of the consciousness.  

Hume was listed top of a survey* among philosophers and undergraduate philosophers in 2010, as the most influential and admired philosopher. (Aristotle, then Kant, close second and third). How much he has had influence, through academia, on the anti-reason, sentimentalist and emotionalist exhibitions prevalent in recent decades, is anyone's guess.

*About 90% surveyed, considered themselves belonging to the "analytic tradition" - which says something...

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